SAN LUIS OBISPO — The County of San Luis Obispo reported Wednesday that a twelfth SLO County resident has died due to COVID-19.

The individual was vulnerable to serious COVID-19 illness because they were in their 80s. The community member lived at Vineyard Hills Health Center, a skilled nursing facility in Templeton that is experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19 among residents and staff. Four residents and one former resident of the facility have died due to COVID-19 since the outbreak began.

The County Public Health Department is continuing to work with Compass Health to stop the spread of infection and prevent a larger outbreak. Those who are sick are isolated as ongoing testing and strong infection control measures continue.

“We offer our sincerest condolences to the family as we mourn this loss,” said County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein. “Each of us plays a role in preventing outbreaks in SLO County. Every time we make the choice to take precautions like wearing a face covering in public and maintaining six feet of distance from others, we help stop the virus from spreading and infecting our most vulnerable community members.”

As of Wednesday, 1,710 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in SLO County, most of whom have recovered. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 can quickly and easily spread to a lot of people and result in continuous spreading among people as time progresses. Every individual’s actions can either limit or contribute to this spread.

All residents, regardless of risk factors, should take steps to limit the spread of COVID-19 — in part because it travels through the community and in some cases, reaches the most vulnerable residents. Older adults, individuals with health conditions, and people living in congregate settings (including residential care facilities) are at higher risk of serious COVID-19 illness.

While the risk increases with age among adults, younger adults and those without chronic conditions have also faced serious illness. Those who are at lower risk for serious illness can transmit the virus to others. The CDC indicates that it is possible for people to spread the virus for about two days before experiencing signs or symptoms and remain contagious for at least 10 days after signs or symptoms first appeared.

For updates on COVID-19 in SLO County, visit ReadySLO.org or call the recorded Public Health Information Line at 805-788-2903. A staffed phone assistance center at 805-543-2444 is available Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to assist with questions related to COVID-19.

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